This is not a book launch review
Disclaimer: This is not a book launch review. My friend Amy wrote a book and I love it and I am going to tell you about it. But I am not on any sort of “launch team.” She didn’t ask me to review it or tweet about it or Pin it or Instagram about it. I ordered my own paperback copy from Amazon.com after I had read part of the eBook. That is a lot to process, so this is my clearest disclaimer: I may be biased about this book because it is awesome.
You need to know a few things about Amy. First, Amy wrote the book because of her twenty years of experiences as a missionary, or “third culture person” or something…I can’t keep track of the lingo. I’m sorry, I’m 47 and I still just call her a missionary. Second, she has a counseling degree, which is very evident in the way she writes — she just knows how hearts and minds work. Third, she is hilarious and quirky and authentic, but you would know that if you have seen any of our amazing videos.
Psst! If you’ve been missing our video hijinks, don’t despair! Our next video is a big fat juicy one, and it’s coming out Monday.
So, though this is not a book launch review, I will be reviewing her book, which recently launched. Just to be clear.
Anyway, when I heard about her book title, Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service, I had two thoughts: (1) Wow, I have a looming transition since we have less than six months till my hubby retires (2) Oh wait, Scott is in military service, so we’re not part of cross-cultural service (unless you count being from the deep South and living in the Arizona desert).
I wondered if this book was for me. Oh my. Yes.
Looming Transitions is about how to finish well when you are in the midst of a huge life transition. Amy examines the nuts and bolts of change — like when and how to start getting ready to pack up your life into moving boxes, or how to say your goodbyes in a way that honors relationships, or how to deal with the emotional fatigue that comes from big change. Amy explains why we struggle and tells us what we can do to make the best of things, even in our weakness.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts…
Psalm 139:23, NIV
What does it mean to finish well? I think that it means to honor God and people up to the very end. Even when you might be tempted to cut and run. Or even when you are so emotionally wrung out that you cannot find nice words say, or nice thoughts to think.
Amy teaches us how to remember the bigger picture, how to find much-needed connection with the people and places you are leaving, how not to get bogged down by details like paperwork or moving arrangements, and how to find God’s best, in the mess. Or, as Amy might say, finding God’s best in the Messy Middle.
Do you notice a theme here, lately? I am writing a lot about middle places. Maybe that is because I have been feeling stuck, between Before & After, for a long time. And that can be a drag, because feeling stuck is very uninspiring. A few things are helping me find HOPE, in the middle of the mess:
- I am enjoying thinking, writing and vlogging (video blogging) about the Church Year and it is such a blessing to walk this road with Amy.
- The Meet Me in the Middle Project is starting next week! We are curating Before&After images and using them to bring the hope of the gospel to social media. Please pray that we all enjoy ourselves and finish the 7 weeks well!
- This book, Looming Transitions, is shedding light on some of the dark, hurting places in my heart. I am so grateful.
So, buy the book for your favorite missionary. Or cross-cultural service friend. If you don’t know a missionary personally, find the one or ones, being supported by your church. If you have any military friends, this book would be great for them well too. Anyone who is moving, or changing jobs, or graduating from or starting school…this book is just that good.